Senior Congress leader P Chidambaram said on Saturday that Congress president Sonia Gandhi is functioning effectively and the party does not make the choice of its leader to please the outside world.
P Chidambaram told ANI in an exclusive interview that the Congress Working Committee (CWC), which chose Sonia Gandhi as its interim chief in August last year, has all the powers of AICC.
“We have a Congress president today. She is functioning effectively and fully. It is for her to decide if she wants to step aside. If she takes that decision, I am sure the Congress party will elect a new president,” said Mr Chidambaram.
“Who should be Congress party’s president, it is for the Congress workers to decide, not for outsiders or the media to decide. We don’t elect the Congress president to please the outside world or the media. We elect a Congress president who is acceptable to our workers. It is purely an internal exercise,” he added.
The former Finance Minister was answering a query about Sonia Gandhi being interim president as the CWC decision has not yet been ratified by the All India Congress Committee (AICC).
“It will ratify but AICC meets normally once a year or once in eighteen months. But the Congress Working Committee, under the Congress constitution, has all the powers of AICC. It is not in any way a body which has lesser power,” he said.
Asked about party leader Rahul Gandhi running the show in the party and if he will take over as the party chief again, P Chidambaram said he would not comment. “I have no comment on that. I have no information,” he said.
On Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Bhagel’s remarks that Rahul Gandhi should become party chief again, Mr Chidambaram said, “It is his view. Why should he not express his views? We are a democratic party. People can express their views. If the people outside Congress can express their views, why not people inside Congress.”
Answering a question, P Chidambaram said he had no information about the date of the next AICC session.